Friday, February 16, 2007

outdoor school sues back

We wrote about this last summer. A 29-year-old died on an a survival trek with the Boulder Outdoor Survival School. It sparked a conversation over liability. Basically, do you know what you're getting into when you sign up for one of these courses? How far should trek leaders push their clients?

According to the AP, the Boulder outdoor school has filed a suit against the estate of Dave Buschow, who died, to bar his family from suing the school over his death.

Buschow died in the first 24 hours of what was to be a month-long trek in the Utah desert. His death occurred during a period called "impact," when the only food and water allowed come from sources found in the desert.

An autopsy report concluded that Buschow died of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, according to the lawsuit.
The suit contends that a series of lengthy release forms Buschow signed prevents his relatives from suing the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, or BOSS.

Buschow's family has not yet filed a lawsuit and could not be reached for comment.

Buschow died the evening of July 17 after a day of hiking. His group found water at least once during the day, according to the lawsuit, and course guides regularly checked students' vital signs. That night, guides noticed Buschow was not breathing and called for a rescue helicopter.


Anonymous said...

Historically, waivers have not been held in cases where gross negligence have been proven.

Based on the details of Dave's death, it will not be hard to prove gross negligence.

There was an AP Wire release stating that the county attorney in Utah would not be filing charges against the school. However, if you read the statement closely, you will see that he felt there was negligence. He just did not have enough evidence to get a criminal conviction.

The federal government has already suspended BOSS's Field Course (the course in which Dave died) until it has been reviewed by an outside agency. This is not good for BOSS.

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